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We Buy Real Estate Like Our Grandparents (and Other Trends for 2013)

ERA'S chief executive, Charlie Young, agrees.

"Coming out of the recession, peoples' attitudes about homeownership have changed, and our brokers and agents are seeing that evidenced in more multigenerational living, downsizing as a choice, living more simply and a return to homeownership as a lifestyle decision versus an investment decision," he says. "Right now, we are noticing that people's biggest concerns are tied to lifestyle motivations, such as new parents expanding to accommodate for a new baby, empty-nesters with too much space or career-focused people seeking the right home in a new city for a new job."

Jed Kolko, chief economist at the housing sector analytical firm Trulia, also has a few thoughts on the homebuying market next year.

The U.S. housing market is only 47% "back to normal" after the onslaught of the Great Recession, but the long-sought housing market bottom has been reached and home prices should rise across the country next year, he says.

Kolko also predicts tough new regulatory rules for mortgage lenders, as well as a more balanced price ratio between owning versus lending a home as rental prices rise in key urban areas such as Miami and San Francisco.

He's also calling for a cut in the mortgage interest deduction to help balance the federal budget, and a power shift in housing market oversight from the federal government to state and local governments.

But that's the "big picture," and it will be interesting to see a year from now if Kolko is on the money or not.